Where can I find a part-time course that will give me a professional qualification?
At Shrewsbury Colleges Group, we understand that people lead busy lifestyles. We tailor our part-time courses to fit in easily to daily work and family routines. But that doesn’t limit the quality of the teaching or the academic qualifications you will ultimately achieve.
Most of our part-time courses require just one evening a week at College, with further studying to be undertaken in your own free time. This level of commitment can quickly add up to some great career-oriented qualifications, from AATs in Accounting through to PGCEs for teaching.
The following courses can all be studied on a part-time basis, and will lead to career-developing qualifications:
How do I persuade my manager to give me regular time off to upskill?
You may be surprised to know that many of Shrewsbury Colleges Group courses are already geared towards the busy lifestyles of working people, or of those with families to support. Our part-time courses are generally no more than one evening a week at College. Even full-time courses tend to be, at most, two days a week. As long as you are able to find ‘free’ time for your personal studies, your courses need not cause any current employer inconvenience. In fact, progressive employers understand the benefits of having a workforce that wants to upskill and will be supportive – particularly if your studies relate to your current working environment. In many sectors, the employer will contribute financially to the study programme and work out ways for you to meet all your obligations.
We have prepared the attached down-loadable flyer, which may help with any initial discussions with your employer. We believe the vast majority will be more positive than you may think.
Where can I find the right course without having to travel miles?
When we say Shrewsbury Colleges Group is the College of Choice, we are partly referring to the number of outstanding professional development courses we have to offer. This means that you are more likely to find the right fit here on your doorstep. Many of our courses are accredited by the University of Staffordshire - which means that you often receive all the benefits of university education without having to travel miles to get there.
Over the last 25 years, Shrewsbury Colleges Group has developed a range of Higher Education courses that were simply unobtainable in Shropshire previously. We have become a hub for adult learning, taking in a catchment area from mid-Wales through to Telford, and Whitchurch to Ludlow. Our transport connections by train, bus and car make journeys easy, and through our bursary schemes, as affordable as possible.
Aren’t higher level and professional qualifications expensive?
Your studies could prove more affordable than you think. In the first instance, many of our courses are either free or very keenly priced (compared to, for example, university courses), and there is almost always further help available according to your personal circumstances.
To give more detail, you will find our fees listed beside the course information on the website. Level 1, 2 and 3 courses are often free – but where they are not, they can be subject to fee waivers, particularly if you are unemployed, in receipt of benefits or earning less than £16,000. In some circumstances, further bursaries are also available to help with meals, transport and childcare.
If you are enrolling in a Level 3 or Access course for the first time, your course is usually free, or will be reimbursed if you go through and complete a Higher Education course.
If you’re already qualified to Level 3 and enrol on a Higher Education course, your course is unlikely to be free, but you can apply for an Advanced Leaner Loan to pay for your studies. Very like a student loan, this is only paid back once you finish your course and earn over £25,000 a year. There is a low rate of interest - and your loan is neither subject to a credit check nor means test.
For further information about funding your course, don’t hesitate to call our course advisers on 01743 342333.
How can I upskill the great people I already have?
If you’re a business in the West Midlands, it’s never been so hard to recruit the right people. With an unemployment rate in the region of 2.9% overall, and even lower in the highly skilled sector, recruitment can often be challenging.
It is also expensive. By the time you factor in the time taken to process applicants, advertising, productivity loss and other liabilities, it is assumed by most experts that the costs associated with recruitment amount to at least half the annual salary of the person you are searching for.
But you may be sitting on a gold mine of talent - and offering your current workforce the opportunity to reskill or upskill can generate better morale and increased loyalty.
We offer courses in a number of areas where employers have not only provided the impetus for the training, but in many circumstances, have helped to pay for it. They recognise that today’s working generation will hold at least fifteen posts in their lifetime and will reskill on a number of occasions. Companies looking to the future would rather play a positive role in that evolution, rather than get left behind. They are also aware that as many of our courses are part-time, needing only one evening a week and home study time, your employee can continue providing the vital service you need in the workplace as they continue to study. It’s a win-win solution for everyone.
The courses which have proved particularly popular with employers are:
For further information from a business perspective don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Business Solutions department for a no obligation staff development plan.
I’ve heard about Apprenticeships, but are they available at the higher levels?
Our Apprenticeship programmes are the perfect way to learn whilst developing genuine workplace skills. But many people don’t realise that at the same time apprentices gain serious, top-level qualifications.
Many of the courses we manage can take our apprentices right through to Level 4 qualifications (the equivalent of HNC or HNDs). They form the firm foundations to a solid career path - or alternatively, students can use these qualifications to move on to higher education courses should they wish.
There is a broad range of Apprenticeships on offer, with study areas ranging from Hair, Beauty and Therapies through to Business, Law and Economics - and many in between. Our students have found huge benefits in training within the workplace and appreciate the added benefit of earning as they learn.
Anyone living in England, over 16 years old and not in full-time education can apply.